Report on Yasur (Vanuatu) — 15 December-21 December 2021
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
15 December-21 December 2021
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2021. Report on Yasur (Vanuatu). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 15 December-21 December 2021. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
19.532°S, 169.447°E; summit elev. 361 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
The Vanuatu Meteorology and Geohazards Department (VMGD) reported that activity at Yasur increased at around 2100 on 18 December. Thirty minutes later webcam images showed deposits of incandescent volcanic bombs that had been ejected from the crater and landed on the flanks. Ash-and-gas plumes were visible at 1015, 1430, and 1545 on 19 December drifting W. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 0-4).
Geological Summary. Yasur, the best-known and most frequently visited of the Vanuatu volcanoes, has been in more-or-less continuous Strombolian and Vulcanian activity since Captain Cook observed ash eruptions in 1774. This style of activity may have continued for the past 800 years. Located at the SE tip of Tanna Island, this mostly unvegetated pyroclastic cone has a nearly circular, 400-m-wide summit crater. The active cone is largely contained within the small Yenkahe caldera, and is the youngest of a group of Holocene volcanic centers constructed over the down-dropped NE flank of the Pleistocene Tukosmeru volcano. The Yenkahe horst is located within the Siwi ring fracture, a 4-km-wide, horseshoe-shaped caldera associated with eruption of the andesitic Siwi pyroclastic sequence. Active tectonism along the Yenkahe horst accompanying eruptions has raised Port Resolution harbor more than 20 m during the past century.